Survey: 22% Cut Back on Cable to Save Cash

Harris Polled Consumers About Money-Saving Measures

Penny-pinching consumers are still putting the hurt on cable: About one in five Americans canceled or scaled back their cable-TV service in the last six months to save money, according to a new poll from research firm Harris Interactive.

About 22% of respondents said they downgraded or eliminated their cable-TV service, and another 21% considered it during that time period, Harris found. The online poll of 3,084 U.S. adults ages 18 and older was conducted Oct. 11 to 18.

The percentage of U.S. consumers who said they’ve cut back or eliminated cable hasn’t changed in the last year, according to Harris. In last February’s survey, 22% of respondents affirmed cable cutbacks, while 21% did in October 2009.

On the most recent survey, 28% of consumers ages 34 to 45 (Gen Xers) said they canceled or cut cable, followed by the 46-64 baby boomers (23%) and the 18-33 echo boomers (22%). Of the 65-plus “matures” demographic, just 13% said they dropped or cut back cable TV.

Meanwhile, 17% of respondents said they canceled their landline phone service and are only using their cell phones, while another 17% have changed or canceled cell phone service.

The most popular money-saving measures on the Harris poll: 62% of U.S. consumers have been purchasing more generic brands in the last six months, and about 45% are brown-bagging lunch instead of purchasing it.